I just returned from an extended vacation in Egypt and was excited to find hieroglyphs of honey bees in some of the tombs! I'm posting this image as it still has the original colors it was painted all those thousands of years ago.
If you are just getting started in beekeeping, I strongly suggest the video series at the University of Guelph. They are well done, just the right length, and very informative.
Plenty of bearding going on when it is 92 degrees outside in October! After such a wet summer it is nice to enjoy the sun this Autumn. I planted wildflowers and a bunch of other specimen plants this year with the aim of improving end of year foraging. So far, so good!
I often come across spiders while tending the hives, but this one was disconcerting! It was pretty large and had strung a web between two hives, so I had to disturb it when doing an inspection. These spiders are fairly common and I always like to see the zig zag pattern they place in the center of the web.
About a week ago I performed a cutout at an apartment complex. I pretty much knew where the hive was from their entrance, but the thermal camera confirmed the location. I drilled a small hole to verify (a few girls peaked out), and then cut open the ceiling (second image). The third image shows the area just after I finished removing the bees and comb. Unfortunately, the queen didn't make it in this cutout and the bees are raising a new queen (last photo). I'm feeding them and will build them up to overwinter. This hive was booming, but I did note a small hive beetle as I was working.
A fellow beekeeper called me as her hive was getting weaker and weaker. The problem was, the hive had been queenless for a while. I zoomed in so you can see the multiple eggs in each cell and the eggs that are laid on the side of a cell (rather than centered). You can save a hive with laying workers, but it is a lot of work and I suggest combining it with another hive or just giving up on it (shake the bees all out in front of your other hives). If you have other hives most of the workers will eventually get in, but the laying workers will not.
If you don't know what a hive beetle looks like, here you go. Thankfully, I don't have many of these - healthy hives keep them in check. I know I'm not the only one who really enjoys squashing these when you find them.
This is a very productive queen, with a great laying pattern. The interesting thing to note here is sometimes even great queens get confused. Can you find the cell with two eggs in it?
I picked this swarm up around 7:00 in the morning. The folk's whose yard it was in called me late the night before, so I headed out early to pick it up. It was one of my easiest swarm calls this year. The swarm is doing great.
I recently presented on honey bees to members of the MidAtlantic Chapter of the American Public Works Association. It was a lot of fun presenting to folks who are not beekeepers. This is a nuc I took to the conference. In the background you can see the equipment that was setup for the Equipment Rodeo (think of it as a test of skill with large equipment). This was a great hive, everyone saw the queen, and folks lined up to have their picture taken holding a frame of bees!